Fallout Shelter (iOS) Review

By Tommy Robbins 08.01.2016

Review for Fallout Shelter on iOS

To be a Vault-Tec Overseer is to be in control, to make the tough decisions, to take in those in need, and occasionally toss them back out. Collecting survivors, manipulating their interests and inventories, encouraging procreation… or not; these are just a handful of the responsibilities an overseer faces. Fallout Shelter is a game that puts all of that into a compact mobile experience that avoids all of the trappings that tend to make mobile games feel like mobile games.

It's a story of progression, starting with nothing and building an empire… Well, there's not really a "story," but all of that other stuff. Just minutes into Fallout Shelter, just past the tutorials, the Overseer is left with only a handful of vault dwellers, the most minimal of basic resources, and an even more minimal understanding of "What's next?" This is where an Overseer's job begins!

Inside this simplistic mobile title, there is a level of depth, not surprising, but more so just fascinating. Each room serves a purpose and each dweller is much the same. Determining who goes where is immediately rewarding as the "overall happiness" of the dwellers increases. Managing the output of each resource by training the skills of the dwellers associated with it quickly becomes cyclical. Send these guys to school while the fresh "graduates" start working. As dwellers are trained, production increases, and your numbers increase… That's what we're all after, right? Higher numbers.

The management of bringing in new dwellers, training them for a task, building more resource rooms and assigning dwellers to them is one, extremely addictive, aspect of Fallout Shelter, but it's only about half of the game, albeit the more involved half. The other half is the "clicker" game tucked away within the base building. Once the Overseer has a decent vault built, there will be lulls in which the cost of expansion is unrealistic. Money needs to be made. This is when the clicking begins.

Screenshot for Fallout Shelter on iOS

Sitting back, the Overseer can now reap what has been sown. Each room's production is linked with a timer. When the timer ends, the resource must be harvested by, what else? Clicking. Waiting and allowing the game to run, occasionally harvesting all of the resources, and waiting some more is the new process. Typically, an Overseer can do this sporadically throughout the day until, at some point, enough resources have been gathered to continue in the vault's expansion. This part can be tedious if there is a goal in mind. This is the part that most closely feels like the typical mobile game "build-cooldown" mechanic that ruins the enjoyment of so many mobile titles. This is a minor deduction from the level of enjoyment, because, fortunately, progress can always be made on other fronts. There are always vacant dwellers to send scavenging or assign to make babies.

The one truly difficult aspect of Fallout Shelter to portray, and possibly the thing that elevates it from good to great, is in the level of player personality that shines through in each created vault. An Overseer can run a smooth operation or can produce a colony in which one man fathers all children, casting males born within the vault out into the waste upon their coming of age. Women are now the entirety of the population. Another Overseer could train everyone as scientists or warriors, although resource production would probably take a heavy hit. The quality of life inside of the vault is literally determined by the one omniscient Overseer: the player. It's a situation reminiscent of the experiments of the vaults from the Fallout universe in which Vault-Tec placed themed experiments into each vault before sealing them. Only this time, it's up to the player to decide how things play out.

Screenshot for Fallout Shelter on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

At its heart, Fallout Shelter is a game that takes base building, inventory management, and basic mobile "clicker" gameplay and throws them all into a, perhaps, not perfect, but highly addictive and enjoyable game. Dressed up with that Vault Boy art style that Fallout has trained everyone to hold so dearly, it's difficult to deny the charm of this quirky little mobile game.

Developer

Bethesda Softworks

Publisher

Bethesda Softworks

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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